And They're the Good Guys?
A look at television's elevation of the antihero
Take a moment to consider the television characters that currently populate the world of police and courtroom dramas: Vic Mackey (The Shield); Jack Bauer (24); Dexter Morgan (Dexter); Grace Anadarko (Saving Grace); Patty Hewes (Damages). This list includes, respectively, a corrupt cop, a wild government agent, a bloodthirsty crime scene analyst, a self-indulgent detective, and a devastatingly cutthroat lawyer. Many of you probably remember when television used to have heroes. Now it seems only to have room for antiheroes—people willing to serve as the story's protagonist, but without all the positive character traits of a traditional hero.
The antihero's elevation in television programming is a cultural text that demands exegesis for purposes of meaningful preaching. In my own exegesis of this phenomenon, I've discovered three possible entry points for the gospel. I will only tackle the first in this article, and will share the remaining two in a more abbreviated fashion on the Preaching ...